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  • Writer's pictureAyrshire Daily News

Traditional September Funfair Plans Rejected by Ayr Racecourse

THE September funfair has been cancelled for 2018 as Ayr Racecourse reject plans for what used to be an annual tradition.

Photo: Ayrshire Daily News

The Ayrshire Daily News were flooded with emails and messages of concerns after readers had seen posts on Facebook about the Fair and Circuses been banned from the Racecourse.

David Moore, founder of the famous Auld Ayr, Scotland Sharing Memories, Facebook group contacted the ADN about his concerns for the future of the fair.

He said: "Charles Horne first staged a fair on the Racecourse in Spring 1987, it was the most significant fair ever in Ayr since the Dam Park fair of the 60s!

"In 2010 the Heathfield site was lost to make way for a new retail development, so the showmen moved to the Ayr Racecourse but the Traditional Gold Cup Fairground Dates had to be moved forward as the Racecourse couldn't accommodate the Fair on the traditional dates as all the space on the course was needed for parking.

"The original September Fair was held in Ayr by Frank Codona whose grandson Billy Hammond still puts on a big fair for the Air Show and smaller Events throughout the year. It was the biggest Funfair in Ayrshire at one point. All the Showmen wanted to be at Ayr for the September races.

"In earlier times the land at Prestwick Toll was also used to accommodate the shows that couldn't get on at Ayr, it was a big tradition, and very sad to see it go.

"Personally what I would like to see at Ayr is a whole Summer long Fairground on the Low Green which could be assisted with the help of the Council to oversee it.

"They do a similar thing at Burntisland that brings in an extra 30,000 visitors throughout the holidays, so why wouldn't this type of idea work in Ayr?"

Photo: David Moore (September 1987)
Ayr Racecourse, Iain Ferguson told the ADN:

“The Racecourse has not banned fairgrounds and circuses from hiring our land. We have turned down requests for them this year.

"We are a racecourse first and foremost, and with the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival taking place next month we are concentrating on the preparations for that.”

David Moore added: "I hope traditions like the Fairgrounds and Circus are kept on the Racecourse, it would be so sad to see this end.

"Not many big towns have an annual two week, traditional fairground, and we cannot let these events become a thing of the past."


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